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Old 19th July 2007, 09:06 AM
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Macau's prosperity safest bet on Earth

So many missed this opportunity ....


Macau's prosperity safest bet on Earth

By William Pesek
Macau's gaming revenue was $8.8b last year. Photo / Reuters

Macau, says billionaire Steve Wynn, is the safest bet on Earth. It also may be the greatest show, if a recent Saturday evening at Wynn Macau casino is any guide.

Thousands of punters jockey for position to place chips on the sacred green felt. Cheers of joy battle against shrieks of dismay from more than 250 gaming tables.

Chain-smoking Chinese men, wearing gaudy polo shirts that would make Tony Soprano blush, lean over baccarat tables. Leggy Asian and Russian showgirls gyrate to pulsating music in the distance.

Walk down the strip and you can't miss Stanley Ho's Grand Lisboa.

The casino looks like a giant Faberge egg - that is, if Peter Carl Faberge had hired Liberace to design his masterpieces.

Welcome to Macau's boom.

Macau is one of China's two special administrative regions, along with Hong Kong. And even by China's white-hot-growth standards, its gambling-driven prosperity is something to behold.

It had 22 million visitors last year, a 17 per cent surge from 2005 that propelled the local economy to expand by the same amount.

More importantly to the Steve Wynns of the world, Macau has surpassed Las Vegas as the No 1 gambling hub.

The boom has even impressed Hugh Hefner. In 2009, his Playboy Enterprises plans to open a 3716sq m complex, including gaming facilities and bunny-suited waitresses. It will be Asia's first Playboy Club since the last one closed in Manila in 1991.

"I can't think of a more exciting market to make a bet on than Macau," Christie Hefner, Playboy chief executive officer and daughter of the company's founder, said last month.

Now that even Playboy is baring its intentions on Macau, it makes you wonder about other Asian nations rushing to legalise casinos. Aren't they too late?

So far, Ho, the man who until 2004 held a four-decade monopoly over Macau's gambling business, has been proven right in his belief that its casinos aren't a zero-sum game - that the pie would get bigger and bigger.

How far that growing pie extends is another matter.

Politicians in Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam either currently allow casinos - or are considering rolling the dice.

They hope to attract more tourists and boost tax revenue.

Macau's gaming revenue surged to about US$7 billion ($8.8 billion) in 2006, and analysts such as Rob Hart, a managing director at Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong, expect that figure to reach US$10 billion this year.

And when even squeaky-clean Singapore is wooing Vegas, you know the taboos associated with gambling are disappearing.

Yet there are risks that Asian governments shouldn't forget.
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Old 19th July 2007, 09:19 AM
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Re: Macau's prosperity safest bet on Earth

Yeah - Macau is booming (and profits keep going up).

Construction is booming as well - the guy I share an office with now, who is a major construction subcontractor here, now has more of his work based in his Macau office, compared to Hong Kong work (and there are many more Casino projects, now, about to be constructed than hare already been built)...

Also several friends in food-service area have moved there and are enjoying the change, where budgets are not an issue as money is rolling in.

Not sure if capitalising on IDNs will be that easy there though - as the native population is small and the only real biz there is Casinos and the other oldest biz in the world (so limited number of IDN takers perhaps).

Comments for interest - cheers, Asiaplay

PS: but owning casino.mo in Chinese would be a click winner (most visitors there are still from Mainland China).
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Old 19th July 2007, 09:26 AM
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Re: Macau's prosperity safest bet on Earth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiaplay
Yeah - Macau is booming (and profits keep going up).

Construction is booming as well - the guy I share an office with now, who is a major construction subcontractor here, now has more of his work based in his Macau office, compared to Hong Kong work (and there are many more Casino projects, now, about to be constructed than hare already been built)...

Also several friends in food-service area have moved there and are enjoying the change, where budgets are not an issue as money is rolling in.

Not sure if capitalising on IDNs will be that easy there though - as the native population is small and the only real biz there is Casinos and the other oldest biz in the world (so limited number of IDN takers perhaps).

Comments for interest - cheers, Asiaplay

PS: but owning casino.mo in Chinese would be a click winner (most visitors there are still from Mainland China).


Umm, not refering to macau related idns (online gambling isn't legal in China) but gambling money fllowing from china into Macau.

I think of domain investment also as a form of gambling, ppl bet on domain appreciation. Like pieces of artwork.

Singapore's new casinos will be ready by 2011, might interesting on how to capitalize on this then.
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Old 19th July 2007, 11:37 AM
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Re: Macau's prosperity safest bet on Earth

Quote:
Originally Posted by touchring
Umm, not refering to macau related idns (online gambling isn't legal in China) but gambling money fllowing from china into Macau..
Online gaming companies are creative. Some are now letting you "bet" with telephone minutes instead of dollars,
and of course there are outlets to "sell" your minutes.
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Old 19th July 2007, 11:46 AM
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Re: Macau's prosperity safest bet on Earth

Wonderful place - very nearly bought an apartment there 5 years ago but opted for Chiang Mai - cheaper and much more JAI YEN.

Do own 澳门.jp ,

And some of those ascii thingies - OnlineCasino.mo.cn, Blackjack.mo.cn , Baccarat.mo.cn , TourismMacao.com , Macao.hk

Perhaps the SAR may have special treatment- but nevertheless still suitable for tourism sites.

"the other oldest biz in the world" - not much gardening in Macau is there?
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Old 19th July 2007, 11:50 AM
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Re: Macau's prosperity safest bet on Earth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wot
"the other oldest biz in the world" - not much gardening in Macau is there?
xn--w8t.biz, baby!

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Old 19th July 2007, 02:57 PM
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Re: Macau's prosperity safest bet on Earth

Haha - depends what you see as a forest I guess... (in relation to gardening)... lol
Jacksonm - massage or karaoke would probably be better lol

Yeah - is true... not much of anything else there... some great Portuguese food and wine is there (is what takes me there mainly).

Remember Macau is one country / two systems - and net gambling is not limited by country boundaries.
However the customer base which goes to Macau for casinos, is still 90% Mainland Chinese - who enjoy the live thrill and also for who, yes, ability to use online credit cards and use of net the even is probably limited (for the Chinese Mainland high-roller types).

So will be awhile before the net is the place for them - someone has done this about 5 years ago for Macau (my understanding is that so far it is not a success).

Some more general comments lol - cheers all, Asiaplay
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